"Lurching Toward Enlightenment": College's First Zombie Residency Set for May 17-18, 2014 in Old Westbury

By AmyRuth Tobol, associate dean, Long Island Center

December 16, 2013

Fiery explosion in the distance of a dessert ringed by mountainsThe apocalypse is near!

The college’s first Zombie Residency  is set for Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18, 2014, at the Long Island Center in Old Westbury. The residency is themed “Lurching Toward Enlightenment: The Scholar’s Zombie Apocalypse.”  

“Zombies have not only invaded most popular culture realms, from fiction, poetry and film to television and video games, they’re also making appearances in college courses focusing on global security and terrorism, cyber hacking, medical technology, political science and even math,” note the organizers of the residency, faculty mentors Erin Young and Mindy Kronenberg and faculty instructional technologist, Jase Teoh.  “Why has the zombie become such a popular metaphor in U.S. society and culture?  What might the figure of the zombie reveal to us about our cultural anxieties and concerns?” 

These questions and others will be explored at the residency, which will feature a variety of interdisciplinary presentations and interactive learning experiences. 

Students may register for any one of four studies that include the in-person residency: 

The Zombie Residency

4 credits, adv, liberal

Mentor: Mindy Kronenberg

Mentor: Erin Young 

The Psychology of a Zombie Apocalypse

4 credits, advanced, liberal, meets social science gen ed

Mentor: Christine Testani (Queensbury) 

The Zombie Sociopath

4 credits, intro/adv, liberal

Mentor: Toni Raiten D’Antonio 

Crime, Zombies, and "What's for Dinner?"

4 credits, intro/adv, liberal

Mentor: Daniel Osborne 

“Summoning the Zombie Inside,” a creative writing workshop  

2 credits, residency only; 4 credits as a full independent study with  follow-up assignments, arts gen ed, liberal, intro/adv, meets the gen ed arts requirement. 

Mentor: Mindy Kronenberg

Students will have the opportunity to meet with others who are enrolled in these studies at the two-day residency.  Additional sessions will include: 

Zombies in Context: An Historical Overview

Zombies and Gaming

Zombie Gender: Sexualizing the Undead

Saturday sessions will be held from 9 a.m.-5p.m.; Sunday sessions will be 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, Long Island. 

Registration is Jan. 28-Feb. 28, 2014, through regular March term registration. The residency fee (room and board) is $50; tuition is $1,148.40 for a 4-credit undergraduate course. 

Lodging information on request. 

This residency reflects a national phenomenon. There is a zombie survival guide and a zombie etiquette guide (based on an experimental TV talk show), a best-selling version of “Pride and Prejudice” with zombies, a collection of “Zombie Haiku” and zombie-themed television series.  As well, Princeton University Press has published “Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us,” which lists privatized Social Security, efficient financial markets and trickle-down economics as examples, and “Theories of International Politics and Zombies.” 

For a better idea of what zombie academics mean, see ”Zombies in the Academy,” edited by Andrew Whelan, Ruth Walker and Christopher Moore and published by the University of Chicago Press; or Harvard Professor Steven Schlozman’s www.thezombieautopsies.com

For more information, go to amyruthtobol@esc.edu or call 631-360-4041.

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Special Announcement

Empire State College will be closed on Christmas Day, Wednesday, Dec. 25, and on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2014. The college will be minimally staffed on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23 and 24, on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 26 and 27, and on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 30 and 31. Please check with your local center to find out if services for students will be available on those days.

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